Our Bodies Are Holy and Destined for Heaven
[This homily was given at the archdiocesan Pro-Life Mass held each month at Sts. Cyril and Methodius Church in Kansas City, KS]
After the tragedy of World War II, many people were rightly shaken by the images taken upon the liberation of the concentration camps. Pictures of piles of human corpses and mass graves led many to despair and question, “Is this all the human body is really worth?” It was in view of this that Pope Pius XII asked the world’s bishops if they felt that the time was opportune to proclaim solemnly the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven. While the Church had always believed this truth of the faith from the earliest days, in 1950 this dogma was offered to the world to reassure us of the dignity of the body. Mary was taken, body and soul, into heaven as a foreshadowing of the truth that all of us will one day raised from the dead, body and soul.
The modern tragedy of abortion has once again filled our world with piles of bodies and people are tempted to despair and question, “Is this all a person is, just a bunch of insignificant tissue to be thrown away?” Mary’s assumption assures us today as it did the world in 1950 that the body is sacred. One could hardly ask for a better Pro-Life Gospel than the Gospel of today’s Mass. The pre-born John the Baptist leaps in the womb of Elizabeth has be encounters the person of Jesus, also pre-born in his mother Mary. How could any Christian claim that babies in their mothers’ wombs are not people! We invoke Mary’s intercession today to pray for a greater respect for all human life and a renewed awe that our bodies are holy and destined for heaven.